A picture of Sox.

My poor brother recently lost his friend of eighteen years. His closest friend, his best friend, the only friend who stuck with him through thick and thin, no matter what happened, has passed away. Although some may find it comical that his dearest friend was a cat, please do your best not to laugh. He’s still heartbroken, as he lost him just two days ago.

He had previously lost a leg due to dogs coming into our yard and attacking him at fifteen. It was miraculous that he even survived. I’m pretty sure it’s the medicine he was on during the surgery that could’ve ultimately caused his death. Going through countless medications and having an arm removed at the shoulder could certainly damage a liver, right? At least I’m pretty sure that’s what caused it all. He was jaundiced one of the last times we took him to the vet, and his liver was mostly shot. Again, he was given more pills and specific foods for his health, in hopes that he may live another year or two. We did the best we could for two weeks, but I always had this sinking feeling. I knew he wouldn’t make it. I think my brother knew, too, but he’s never been good at coping with the inevitable.

We came home from my late birthday party. My birthday had been on the twelfth.

I heard the complaints, “But it’s only six-o’clock!”

“I think we should go home. I’m having a blast and all but… I want to go home.”

He heard that sound in my voice. I was worried. And he didn’t argue with me. When we went to check on the cat, as he had already fallen ill earlier. He was curled up in the laundry basket as he often enjoyed doing. When he got out and started walking towards the litter box, he stumbled and fell over on his side. He was bleeding internally. The next day, we were going to take him to the vet. We couldn’t let him suffer. My brother knew what this meant, so he only held him, doing his best to be strong and not to cry. I won’t lie. I bawled. I knew what was coming, and I knew the next day would be the worst day of his life.

On the morning of January 14, 2012, we had to drive 50 miles to our trusted vet. I know that sounds like a lot, but we refused to see anyone else. This vet had been seeing this cat since they day they found him, so we weren’t about to take him to someone else. Surely enough, his liver had failed, and the poor old fellow had to be put down. My brother was sobbing, and I was right there with him. He rested his head on his dear friend’s body, tears streaming down his face. The cat had to have three injections before his heart finally slowed and eventually stopped beating. I think he was struggling to stay with us. I haven’t told him, but I don’t think he would appreciate it. He doesn’t tolerate death very well.

So we got home. We did the usual thing that most people do when mourning. We ate a metric ton of chocolate and everything else we could find that was horrible for us. That’s how he would cope. I tried to be supportive. This time I had to be the strong one. He would collapse into my arms and sob into my shoulder, though the image was probably rather funny, seeing that he’s well over two-hundred pounds and I’m rather petite. But we went to bed late that night. He wanted me to break out the black nail polish, which he wanted me to stop wearing a long time ago, and I did for a while. We painted our nails black, threw together a pot of chili, and eventually went to bed after a long discussion about hopes of the afterlife and what it would be like to sit at the same table as Einstein, Edison, Tesla, and someday, when his time comes, Stephen Hawking. We then went to sleep.

The morning was strange. He didn’t want to get out of bed. He was too tired. I heard clicking down the hallway. The same clicking that his cat would make when he walked. My eyes watered. The poor soul couldn’t rest. His father, the same day, later reported home to his wife over the phone that he saw him in the bathroom, where he used to drink his water, and when he reached down to pet him, still half asleep, his hand passed through and he recalled that the cat had died. I saw him at the top of the stairwell, looking down as he often did. At least he didn’t show up when I opened the cans. My brother doesn’t believe in ghosts, so I don’t want to say anything to him, but I think that to this day, his best friend doesn’t want to leave him.

His mother still hears clicking of the cat's in the hallway every now and then.

I only hope now that his soul can find peace and my brother can recover from his loss.

Written by Shinigami.Eyes. In loving memory of Sox.
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